What of crazy desires? I’d have other people worship me as a god. Hence, as per the GR, I ought to worship them as gods.

Here the “reverse” GR (RGR) can be of help. I’d rather not worship any man as a god. Hence, I am OK with other people’s not worshipping me.

One is free to pick either the GR or the RGR as a guide. For crazy desires, the RGR will serve as a reality check and be chosen for self-interested reasons.

Even here, a counterexample to RGR, as pointed out below, is that it would be “cool” if others worshipped me; therefore, I must worship them.

This is another false positive.

The case of the judge. A judge sentencing a criminal is applying the GR to his own conduct. If the situations were reversed, he’d like the judge to pardon him. Hence, he ought to pardon the criminal.

The GR is N/A, because the judge is not permitted to pardon at will. The reasoning “Smith would like Jones to do his homework; hence, Smith ought to do Jones’ homework” is invalid for the same reason: one is not permitted to do another’s homework.

Moreover, more than the criminal’s welfare is at stake. Just as with the mousetrap example, more than 2 people, society as a whole in fact, are involved. The GR falters in such situations.

Again, Smith has a choice between A and B. If he chooses A, then Jones will be happy; if he choose B, then Robinson will. Which one of these two is the “other” with whom Smith must practice his role reversal?

The GR as an anti-hypocrisy principle. Suppose I am a utilitarian. But I am not privileged relative to anyone else. Then I must not disclaim my own doctrine the moment my good is slated to be sacrificed for the greater good of others.

The GR as natural law. We have natural rights by virtue of belonging to the species Homo sapiens. This way we escape the problem of people’s different personalities and tastes.

“You shall not steal” is addressed to all humans. And the GR makes this commandment particularly poignant.

Surely, I would not want to be a victim of a violent crime. Then I ought not to violate the rights of others.


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